The American dream through the eyes of an immigrant

Story by Daniel Tate

As 2015 draws to a close, the issue of illegal immigration is once again making headlines thanks to GOP candidate Donald Trump. Since officially announcing his presidential campaign in June, Trump has made it very clear that one of his biggest selling points is a promise to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants, including their U.S.-born children. But what does this mean for those immigrants whom Trump plans to eject from the United States? How can they keep the American dream alive when it appears so many are against them?

Luis Castro is a 29-year-old male who lives in Magna, Utah. He is married with three kids. He drives a nice Ford truck and works hard to provide for his family. He enjoys watching football with friends on Sunday and loves to barbeque.

From the outside looking in, he appears to be what most would consider a hard working American. However there is one factor that may prevent some U.S. citizens from calling him an all-American.

In 1990 Castro’s parents left Mexico to start what they hoped would be a better life for their children. For the next couple of years his parents worked seven days a week to save up enough money to bring their children to their new home. Finally in 1992 the Castro children began migrating from Mexico to the U.S., but the journey was not so easy.

“They were unable to get me a visa, so my dad and I actually tried crossing here illegally, but we didn’t make it across so we got sent back,” says Castro as he recalls the first time his parents attempted to bring him into the U.S.. After being sent back to Mexico, Castro says it took about three to four months for his parents to obtain the correct documentation. Although his parents were able to get documentation for him, his brothers and sisters were not so lucky. By the end of 1995 the whole family was now living in Salt Lake City, but only Luis was living here legally.

Although the fear is alive in these immigrants’ recent numbers show that deportation is actually down. President Barack Obama administration has deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006, according to internal figures obtained by The Associated Press (Caldwell, Alicia. “U.S. Deportation Rates hit A 10-Year Low.” Huffington Post., 06 Oct. 2015. Web. 07 Dec. 2015.). When presented with this statistic Castro smiled and said “that’s great,” but he went on to say he hopes more can be done to secure a safe and fear free life for those living in the U.S. illegally.

It’s now been over 20 years since Castro and his brothers and sisters made the move from Mexico to Salt Lake City. He says his all of his family members are now legal citizens and proud to call the U.S. home. Unfortunately though there citizenship has not stopped harassment from some people. He recalled a time the family was out to eat and they were speaking Spanish to each other and he could overhear people saying “why can’t they all just learn English already?” Castro says negativity like this does not upset him or anyone in his family though because they all actually do speak perfect English and thus the joke is on those who think small minded and talk down on them without knowing the whole story

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us.” Quotes like this from Trump have enraged many in the Hispanic community, but to Castro its words like this that make him want to be a better man. He believes Trump is just saying these hateful words to get attention from the media and does not believe Trump has any chance of being the next president of the United States. “He’s driving a wedge between himself and probably the second largest population in the U.S. So he is actually hurting himself by saying these hurtful things,” says Castro.

When asked if he feels his life so far could be titled under the umbrella of living the American dream he laughed and said “well I guess so.” He went on to say that he is happy, his family is happy and to him that is the American dream, being truly happy.